Daily Archives: April 29, 2008

Justice in Pakistan – some disturbing reflections

Posted by Raza Rumi

An anonymous contributor at the Friday Times talks about how the murder of a family member raised painful questions about Pakistani society

When an incident occurs which should never have taken place – an anomaly, a tragedy – the first question that springs to mind is, who is to blame? It has been two years since my uncle’s body was found, decaying in his own blood, two years since he was murdered in his house, in his own sanctuary. I have had enough time to distance myself from the tragedy and view the events in a more rational way. But is there anyway to rationalise the murder of an innocent man, whose only crime was that he could not afford to live anywhere but in a small apartment in an unsafe area of Karachi?

As I sit safely in America and think about his murder, I am confronted with the question of my own identity. Who is a Karachiite? I strive to answer this question. To me, a Karachiite is a jaded individual, who invariably knows someone who has been the victim of a crime or is a helpless victim of fear and loathing himself. Yet tragedy and fear never strike hard enough until they hit home, and that is when you realise how real crime is. It’s not just some cool scene from a pyscho thriller flick. Continue reading


Filed under Karachi, musings, public policy, Society, state

Pakistan: What other kind of change?

By Ayesha Siddiqa adding to the debate on the changing Pakistan…

IN a recent article titled ‘Another kind of change’ Akbar Zaidi tried to make us believe in changes occurring in Pakistan without properly contextualising them. According to the writer, Pakistan is no longer feudal, traditional and rural nor is its economy agrarian. Although it is not stated in this fashion, the underlying tone of the article is that the country has moved to become a more modern society. Let us see if the arguments hold.

First, do the changes in the land tenure system and the separation between labour and capital, which is how traditionally feudalism is defined, make Pakistan non-feudal? Besides the economic dimension, there is the socio-political dimension as well. The structures of power remain the same. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizens, Pakistan, Society